Tor­mented mum took out her grief on so­cial worker

A WOMAN has ad­mit­ted ha­rass­ing a so­cial worker over her teenage daugh­ter’s death. But Elaine Ben­nett says she did it as a cry for help. Sam Len­non re­ports.

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News -

TWO years af­ter her death, 16-year-old Louise Ben­nett’s body is still not buried and ly­ing in a mor­tu­ary.

Tests have still not dis­cov­ered the ill­ness that caused a demise in her be­hav­iour, lead­ing to her need­ing so­cial care.

An in­quest gave an open ver­dict af­ter she drowned in 2006, un­able to con­firm or deny her fam­ily’s fears that she com­mit­ted sui­cide.

Her mother Elaine, al­ready an­guished over so many unan­swered ques­tions, was also un­happy with the care given by so­cial ser­vices and in frus­tra­tion ha­rassed her daugh­ter’s so­cial worker.

For this she ap­peared in the dock at Ash­ford Mag­is­trates’ Court on Mon­day.

She told the Ken­tish Ex­press af­ter the case: “It was a cry for help al­though this court was the wrong place to bring it to

“When Louise died it felt like my heart was ripped out. I don’t live now, I just ex­ist.

“We have never been able to hold a fu­neral for her so we can’t grieve prop­erly.”

Mrs Ben­nett, 47, of Cra­dle Bridge Drive, Willes­bor­ough, ap­peared in court charged with the ha­rass­ment of so­cial worker Lisa Hutchin­son and was given a con­di­tional dis­charge. She had pleaded guilty.

Her hus­band, Richard, 52, told the Ex­press, said: “We have tried through the proper chan­nels but we have still not got an­swers.

“We need to know, not just for our chil­dren but also our grand­chil­dren.”

The fam­ily says Louise was struck by a mys­te­ri­ous, un­di­ag­nosed con­di­tion that made her be­have oddly, such as go­ing out without wear­ing shoes and had phys­i­cal symp­toms such as dou­ble vi­sion and dif­fi­culty swal­low­ing.

So­cial ser­vices im­ple­mented a scheme where she could not go out without a par­ent but the fam­ily said that made her even more un­happy.

Mr Ben­nett said: “It meant she couldn’t even go out­side the house for a cig­a­rette without one of us be­ing there.

“We had to shadow her ev­ery move and that got her de­pressed.”

Mrs Ben­nett said: “She ac­tu­ally said three or four times over four weeks she was go­ing to Folke­stone to drown. I told her not to be silly.

“But the last day she left the house she kissed me and said ‘I love you mum’. My in­stinct told me I didn’t like that.

“I re­alised af­ter­wards she had gone to Folke­stone with no train fare no change of clothes and no towel.”

Louise had five sib­lings, her twin Ja­son, now 19, Suzanne, 24, Kevin, 21, Lisa, 14 and Justin, 10.

Elaine Ben­nett and her hus­band Richard

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